Tag Archives: composition notebook study

More Than a Notebook

Cover Your Notebook

I am usually one to stick a label or print a square and paste to the cover.  However, I must say this proves to be as much fun as inserting the contents.  How to Make an Altered Composition Notebook

Creative Notebook Needs

Interactive Notebooking

This takes advantage of the Dinah Zike Books or lap-book elements.  While you may actually finish your lap-books without much struggle, I often find many of the components to be undesirable.  I find myself wishing that there were tidbits that I could isolate.  We began by adding lapbook elements to our Great Artist Study notebook, from Practical Pages.  (I am so glad that Practical Pages came to visit me!  We are enjoying the art lap-booking components.)

Using the lapbook items in our composition notebook provides us with the opportunity to index.  While a true interactive notebook has an input and output page , I am not near as strict with the process as long as we get things into the notebook and out of the mind.


This is a wonderful way to add information to your notebook.  This will make the topic even more fun to study!  You continue to add elements, quotes, blurbs, etc.  This is more haphazard scrapbooks than actual notetaking or notebooking, which is usually more or less our style.

Where to find things to put in your notebooks?  I create and use a variety of resources, but these are my favorite places to visit first:

Dina Zike’s Books


Homeschool Share


Filed under General, Lessons, Resources

Great Scientist Study

Our first study of this type was the Great Artist Study.  Please visit this post to view the inside of the notebook.  Following the same design and plan for a study, we will study great scientists.

I chose to use Elemental Science’s Biology for the Logic Stage this year.  Science is planned for three days a week.  Two days of the week are devoted to biology while the third day is reserved for date entry, timeline additions, and the study of various scientists.  While reading the Elemental Science blog, I discovered a series devoted to great scientists – Great Scientist Series.  I happily donated my dollar and downloaded the resources that were made available by the Elemental Science author, Paige Hudson.

The series consists of four downloads: ancients, middle ages, early modern, and modern.  We are studying ancient history this year.  We are using Great Scientists of the Ancients.

I downloaded this resource.  I printed the text in black and white on my laser printer.  I printed a colored cover on cardstock.  Using a comb binder, I assembled a small booklet of less than 50 pages.

I am very pleased with the ease and simplicity of using a composition notebook, which is why our Great Artists Study uses one.  My child chose a composition notebook with a colorful pattern on the front. Together, we created a graphic for both the front of the book and the table of contents page.  I use wide, clear tape to fix the graphic to the cover of the book.  You could use clear contact paper as well.  We use a combination of glue sticks, double-sided tape, sticky dots, et cetera on the inside pages.  I do not use any thin or liquid type of glue.  This is just too messy for me!

I began researching books that correlate with the scientists and purchased several, including but not limited to What’s Your Angle Pythagoras? and Archimedes and the Door of Science.

I printed titles and pictures from sites like Wikimedia.  For example, I have clips of machines invented and a graphic of the Earth as the center of the universe.  Things that illustrate the scientist are what I sought, as well as some image of the scientist too.

I created copy-work as it is relevant, such as the Hippocratic Oath or Aristotle’s The Four Causes.

We will draw and sketch too.  My child will make sketches for Archimedes’ three forms of levers.

Use your imagination.

The photo below shows you the booklet, composition notebook, and resource packs that I created.  I do not use zippered plastic bags.  I use storage bags without the zipper.  I prefer them for separating items.  Each bag is for one scientist and contains all items needed, including books bought.  I include a list of websites and potential library references as well.  Visible to you are the resource packs for Hippocrates and Pythagoras.

These are the contents of the resource pack for the study of Pythagoras below.  Notice the small map of the world.  My child will mark the geographic location of the places traveled and lived in by the scientist being studied.

I keep everything together in a plastic portfolio.

I prefer simple.  I hope you enjoy our Easy Notebook Studies!

Let me know what you add or change.  Share your resources too.  I am still looking for age appropriate reading books for my child.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Science

Great Artist Study

As we are learning to draw, contour and volume drawing, using Mona Brooks’ book Drawing with Children with other resources, an interest in who were the great artists was sparked.

I looked at many note-booking pages.  I looked at many of the programs.  I decided to let the interest develop on its own.  That is to say that I purchased a second-hand book that contained famous artists, and I asked my child which ones did she want to study.  I added some, of course, that I thought were very relevant.

After researching how to compile and document the course of study, I decided on a very simple approach.  I purchased a composition notebook from the office supply store.  With my child sitting beside me, we created a title graphic for the front cover.  I used clear contact paper larger than the graphic design to fix it to the front of the book.

Great Artist Study

As any reference book has a table of contents, we created a table of contents for the notebook.  We left three pages blank at the front of the book.  We started with number one and numbered each subsequent page after the first three.

Great Artist Study

Steps to follow for the great artist study:

1.  Choose an artist.

2.  Record the artist in the table of contents.

3.  Create a title page for the artist.  Record birth and death dates.  Display a photo or sketch of the artist.  Create a title or heading for the page.

4.  Research and print small graphics of the artist’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, et cetera.

5.  Write a short paragraph about the artist.

6.  Mount the graphics in your notebook.  Write blurbs containing the title of the work, if known, and any relevant fact, if desired, about the piece.

7.  Record the beginning page number and the ending page number in the table of contents.

This is an example of a completed artist study:

Cover Page

Great Artist Study

Biography Page

Great Artist Study

Famous Works with Blurbs

I think that you can over plan.  In this case, I took a very Charlotte-Mason approach.  I do not think that this should be something that is overcomplicated.  My child has enjoyed the assembly and the investigation.  As you can see from the examples, I help to write too.  She dictated the biographical introduction.  I do not make a fuss over spelling or handwriting as long as the word is recognizable and the writing legible.  This is more a diary of investigation or a record of interest.

Here are some of the artists that we will be studying this year:

  • Vernon Grant
  • Edvard Munch
  • da Vinci
  • Rembrandt
  • Van Gogh
  • Michelangelo
  • Raphael
  • Monet
  • Matisse
  • Boticelli
  • Picasso
  • Thomas Kinkaid
  • Renoir
  • Bellini
  • Georgia O’Keeffe

I attempted to be very diverse.  I did not follow a model that would correlate history and art either.  A classical education does not demand that everything adhere to a period of historical study.  It demands that you seek knowledge and understanding.


I found this resource here. This is Study-An-Artist by Live and Learn Press.  You could use the mini-books inside your notebook or create lapbooks.

Visit Practical Pages.  Add these lapbook elements to your pages.  Your notebook will develop a personality and become very interactive.  I truly have enjoyed adding lapbook pieces to our notebooks.


Filed under General